There is a HUGE misconception when working on abs after pregnancy. Most women believe that basic ab exercises will tighten, tone, and firm their stomach after having a baby. However, there’s something doctors, and magazines forget to mention. When stomach mucles stretch and expand, the mid line tears and separates. This is known as Diastasis recti. The stomach muscles separate due to pregnancy and traditional crunches and make it worse!!
Post Pregnancy Belly Isn’t Just about what you eat (as many people think), it’s the result of many factors. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic released on Diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is most likely in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. The muscle separation often lessens in the months after childbirth. However, some degree of separation might remain up to a year after childbirth and beyond. Diastasis recti can weaken the abdominal muscles, causing lower back pain and making it difficult to lift objects or do other routine daily activities.
You might be more likely to develop diastasis recti as a result of pregnancy if you:
- Are older than 35
- Have a multiple pregnancy
- Deliver a baby who has a high birth weight
- Have repeated pregnancies
What’s worse is that many women think that traditional ab exercises can help fix post pregnancy belly. Traditional crunches are actually THE WORST thing you can do if you suffer from this condition. Crunching will put pressure on the midline of the abs and create more tearing. If you are trying to get rid of post pregnancy belly, you must avoid crunches and focus on exercises that help to tighten the abs and transverse abdomenus muscles without causes more damage.
How to lose pregnancy belly fast
When I talk about “pregnancy belly,” I am being specific to a rounded stomach that still has a somewhat ball shape. I’m not talking about how to get rid of pregnancy belly flab. If you are looking to decrease flab that’s more about calorie intake and skin elasticity. If you are looking to decrease belly flab you will need to change your eating habits. You can contact me to make an eating plan for you for a reasonable price. The rounded shape is due to tearing of the stomach muscles. So to fix this you must allow the stomach muscles to get stronger while allowing the muscles to fuse back together naturally.
Two Exercises to Help You Lose pregnancy belly
PLANKS!! You’ve all seen them and they’ve been around for a long time! This exercise is an isolated muscle contraction that allows your muscles to get stronger without movement. There are tons of variations to this exercise so feel free to chose any of them. I recommend doing a standard plank accompanied by a side plank for your obliques.
Here’s my previous article on plank exercises for further instruction and images.
Another exercise was recently featured on Dr. Oz. This exercise has a similar principle as the plank. There’s NO CRUNCHING (just head and neck movement), and there’s a very concentrated focus on isolated muscle contraction. Watch the video via the link below.
Dr. Oz says this is actually a real medical condition that occurs when the fibers in your stomach muscles stretch and rip during pregnancy. After you give birth those muscles remain stretched and weak, leaving you with a bulge rather than the tight core you had before getting pregnant. The good news is that Dr. Oz has a solution to make that baby pooch go away once and for all!
- Lie on your back with a folded towel spread underneath your lower back. Crisscross your arms and pull each end of the towel, keeping both hands just underneath your ribcage.
- Lay flat on the floor with your knees bent and pull in your abs while tightening your belly button towards the floor.
- Lift only your head off the floor and look down at your knees. Lower and repeat this move 20 times in a row, 3 times a day to get the tummy you have always wanted!
If you want to watch the video visit Dr. Oz’s Site HERE. The clip begins at 1.06 minutes into the clip.
You can do these exercises while you are breast feeding. Pregnancy belly also affects those who have had C sections. However, in my experience losing pregnancy belly after having a C section is actually a little more complicated.
Trainer Tips On How to Lose Pregnancy Belly After a C Section
This is similar to getting rid of pregnancy belly normally but there’s one tip that can make all the difference! Of course, after having a C section there’s an incision. Any incision can have potential scar tissue. This tissue can harden and cause problems with flexibility. Over time lack of flexibility creates a hunched over appearance which also means the stomach muscles are in a perpetual shortened state. If you want long lean stomach muscles you will have to massage the scar (incision) nightly with oil or lotion in a circular motion to break up the scare tissue. This will help you to regain the natural flexibility of the muscle tissue and aid in proper posture long after that child goes after to college 😉
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